Mar 9, 2014
Failed Restoration of Spanish Fresco Turns Profitable
Posted on Aug 15, 2013
About a year has passed since an elderly woman decided to retouch a painting of Christ and ended up disfiguring the religious image. The botched job, which turned into a source of humiliation for Cecilia Gimenez and spurred a series of memes, has become a lucrative endeavor. Apparently time can heal all wounds.
The small church in Borja, Spain, that houses the infamous work has received an immense influx of tourists, all eager to see Gimenez’s art. The city council decided to charge a euro entrance fee to the church, and now that the painting has attracted more than 40,000 people, it’s added up. The amateur painter’s well-intentioned deed has earned a local charity upward of €50,000 ($66,000).
And that’s without counting the profit from merchandise sales. The Guardian reports:
The 81-year-old responsible for bringing this little known artwork that uses the Ecce homo (“behold the man”) motif into the spotlight held an art show that attracted thousands of visitors. And, seeing as the painting cannot be returned to its previous state, her version, nicknamed “Ecce mono” (“behold the monkey”), will outlive its predecessor.
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